Soccer News: Shearer shines down by the seaside


Alan Shearer's hat-trick was overshadowed by an injury to new striker Stephane Guivar'ch as Newcastle crushed Bray Wanderers in the Carlisle Grounds in Bray last night. French international Guivarc'h went over on his left ankle as he delivered an 11th-minute cross for Shearer. As Guivarc'h limped off Shearer put Newcastle ahead with a low drive from 18 yards; he made it 2-0 on the half hour direct from a free-kick and wrapped up his hat-trick four minutes from the break with a simple far-post header. Pat Dalglish scored two goals and Dietmar Hamann marked his debut with a superb 20-yard drive to the net.

Wolves manager Mark McGhee believes Robbie Keane will play a leading role in helping his team reach the Premiership. McGhee said: "We have a lot of hope in him this season. He's matured physically and mentally and he'll be a lot more capable of playing a lot of games this season. Clubs have star players and Robbie is our star player ... as opposed to last season, when we hoped, this season we expect."

Keane, who turned 18 on July 7th, added: "Mark McGhee has said he's going to build the team around me and that's a compliment. I'm delighted."

Ian Rush signed a one-year contract as player-coach with Wrexham and will make his league debut for his new team in Saturday's opening second division match against Reading. Last night he was in the 44,000 Anfield crowd to see Michael Owen's homecoming in Liverpool's 2-1 victory over Inter Milan. Afterwards, visitors' coach Luigi Simoni dismissed any comparison with Ronaldo, and reckoned Owen struggled to cope with his Serie A-hardened defenders.

Celtic managing director Fergus McCann yesterday confirmed he is already actively engaged in finding his successor as he prepares to end his involvement with the Scottish champions next spring.

McCann announced a 25 per cent increase in turnover to £27.8 million and a record net profit of £7.1m. "The successful year past has ensured that funds are available for the new head coach Jozef Venglos to strengthen the squad, when he chooses to do so," McCann said.

Meanwhile Celtic general manager Jock Brown said that Celtic's two greatest servants of all time were Jock Stein and McCann. "... (I)n particular, Fergus will, I think be acknowledged as a Celtic hero," he said.

A Nigerian soccer official said yesterday that five Dutch coaches, including former Celtic coach Wim Jansen, have been shortlisted for the vacant national coaching job. Ruud Gullit is not among them. Chelsea restored some pride after their battering at the hands of Atletico Madrid by hammering Brazilian outfit Flamengo in the Arnhem tournament third-place play-off last night. Dan Petrescu scored twice and Gianluca Vialli, Gustavo Poyet and Roberto Di Matteo were also on the mark.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given himself another 24 hours to land Argentinian defender Nelson Vivas. The club have agreed a £2 million fee with his Swiss club side Lugano and the player has already completed his medical, but Wenger said yesterday that another day was needed to confirm the deal. Wenger was speaking after Arsenal's 4-0 win over German side Kickers Offenbach. Former England striker David Hirst could miss the entire season following a bizarre injury in pre-season training with Southampton. He stepped on a stone while running and tore ligaments in his knee.

Coventry City's World Cup striker Phillipe Clement has suffered a fractured cheekbone and could be out of action for up to six weeks. The Belgian international sustained the injury in Tuesday's pre-season match against Cardiff. Croatian World Cup star Robert Jarni has agreed terms with Coventry.

Belgium and PSV Eindhoven striker Luc Nilis, who scored in both play-off matches which ruled the Republic of Ireland out of this summer's World Cup, said he would no longer play for the national side, focusing instead on his club.